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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    What about my personal documents on my computer? I mean like my personnel reviews, my resume, back in the 1990's I typed up both my grandmother's funeral sermons, I have pictures of my cat on there. Will they let me have anything off the computer?
    I know it is way too late for this now, but I would advise anyone reading this not to use work computers for storing the only copy of personal files- always save a copy on your home computer or on a flash drive, etc.

    When we terminate people, we do not allow them access to their computers because we do not want to take chances that they will leave malicious files or tamper with network files, etc. We haven't had anyone ask us to retrieve any documents- but admittedly the people we've let go have only been around for a short time. I know that they had personal photos on their desktops but they must have had other copies of them. I would guess that we would be understanding if someone asked to retrieve some files but we would want to be the ones doing the actual retrieval. (i.e. have the terminated employee stand over one of our shoulders) If your company has a specific policy against using company computers for personal use or if they are a larger company, they may not be very sympathetic.

    Like gen said: if you need files from your work computer, try to get them ASAP.

    Best of luck with everything- I know that this must be horribly difficult for you but whatever happens, it's not the end of the world. (((BaileyCatts)))

  2. #82
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norlite View Post
    Noon Tuesday gen.


    In that case, you've got the time to get your personal stuff, the stuff that's strewn all over the office, out of there. Seriously: take the radio, the stuff from the locker, anything that is yours and not easliy identifiable as your personal property home TONIGHT.
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  3. #83
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    Baileycats, I know it's still very stressful and I can understand why all these thoughts are occupying your mind now. But if you do end up leaving the company, I think you'll be surprised at how quickly you stop thinking or caring about the other people at work. I doubt HR would let the other people have access to your documents, but even if that were to happen, who cares what those people do or think - they won't be a part of your life anymore - and it sounds like you'll be happy about that.

    When I think back to my old job, I remember people who were considered so important, and what they said or thought made such a difference to me. But now that I'm not there, what they say or think has no impact on me - except to the extent I let them effect me.

    Good luck tomorrow.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  4. #84

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    BaileyCatts, were you already at work when you got the call about tomorrow's meeting?

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    After 22 years, could they be looking for a reason, especially if you don't get along with your coworkers?
    I was listening to a very enlightening interview by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar. Someone in the audience asked him a question. If they had an extremely talented, intelligent, best-of-the-best programmer but who couldn't get along with others in the team, what would they do?

    His answer: Pixar obviously has their quirky characters so they have quite a lot of leeway in that regard ( ), but if that person could not work well with others in the company, they would let him go.

    To them, a company's success has nothing to do with how good each individual employee is, but how well they work with each other. It can be personal, but yet not personal at the same time. You have to be dead honest with each other and not be afraid to rip each other's work to shreds. That's what it takes to get the consistently high-quality output that Pixar produces. And yet, it's done with the knowledge that you're genuinely trying to improve each other's work, and that even if you don't work well with others in the team, that's all it means - that you don't work well with that particular crew. It doesn't mean that if you're let go, that you'll never find work anywhere ever again. It's all about a very specific chemistry in a specific group.

    With that in mind BaileyCatts, definitely think of this as an opportunity. So what if you're introverted? Everybody in my lab is pretty introverted. We don't even have lunch together, forget about hanging out after work. But we go into work with that understanding, so we're not pressured into any social obligations and we're definitely not afraid to be honest with each other. That's the most important thing. If everything that happened at this company stressed you out because it was always a social obligation, it really is best to move forward and find a new work environment, hopefully one that matched you better.

  6. #86

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    I'm so sorry you're going through this BaileyCatts.

    I would assume that you've been terminated, and prepare yourself for that. However, it is critical that you get your side of the story across. Write it out like someone suggested, so that you can refer to it, even if they've already terminated you. If you aren't composed enough to do so, ask the HR person to read it out loud. It may be too late, but it sounds like they were looking for an excuse so even if you'd said it last week, it wouldn't have been good enough.

    But you need to say it - you'll regret it if you don't, and it might make some difference.

    Also, the most miserable periods in my life have led into the best and happiest ones. This might be a blessing in disguise. Focus on the positive points - that you'll never have to see the people you hate again. It's hard, and you have every right to be miserable, but try not to drown in it.

    Are you able to take your sister or a friend to the meeting tomorrow?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  7. #87
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    Remember to go into the meeting as cool and collective as possible. They are either going to fire you or discipline you. The first case they don't deserve you being anymore emotional since they haven't really given you a chance to defend your actions. And the second you don't want to give them more cause to fire you. If I was you I'd begin to put a resume together and look for a new job either way.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    BaileyCatts, were you already at work when you got the call about tomorrow's meeting?
    No I was still at home since I don't work until 9am, so it was basically to prevent me from coming to work. I am still on paid administrative leave so I am not even at work so I cannot even get anything or do anything. I am trying to make a list, but I know there are things that I am not even thinking of that I would only remember when I see it. Its 22 years worth of stuff.

  9. #89
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Oh, I didn't realize that they were telling you not to come in to work until the meeting, I thought you were at work today. That's very odd...at this point I would assume they are stalling while they hammer out the legal details of a separation agreement. Can you go in before the meeting tomorrow to gather some of the stuff together?
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  10. #90

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    It's completely appropriate, should they ask you to leave, for you to ask them if you can go back to your desk to gather personal items. If they seem hesitant, ask if you can be escorted, and yes, after hours is completely fine.

    They can say no, but there is absolutely no reason why you can't at least ask about this type of stuff.

    I wish you the courage to face whatever comes next. Deep breaths. One way or the other, it'll be over soon, and you'll be moving on.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  11. #91
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    When I worked in HR (a short time for a lunatic), I packed up my share of desks for employees. I normally did it after hours and terminations were also done with little notice but at the end of the day. The sole exception was an employee had threatened to kill a coworker and had been released immediately (while I had the coworker in a side office during the dismissal).

    I have worked for companies who immediately 'lock down' computer access and escort someone to the door after termination or a resignation. It's to prevent tampering with company product or gather information for a competitor. As a secretary, I actually had it happen to me and they loved me. I was resigning because they were going under and they had actively encouraged me to look around. But the boss explained it best - They'd miss the candy and my comments, but figured I'd be useless for the 2 weeks and they needed the cash. They actually let me finish the day since my boss would have been lost without my straightening out the desk, but all my shredding and trash went to HR with notes.

    Best advice? Go in rational, try to keep calm. Easier said than done, but hold your head high, explain your mistake and thank them for the opportunity to work there. The gossip mill will be churning and the eyes will be watching.

    While you're off today, you might want to look into unemployment laws in your state. See if you can file and see what they can say to any future employers.

  12. #92

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    Instead of worrying about your stuff, write down your side of the story so that you can present it tomorrow. Twice now you haven't been able to verbalize it, so take this time to get it all on paper.

    If it's a disciplinary action, your statement can go in the file along with it. If not, you at least get to tell the story your way.

  13. #93
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    I know this is a complex, emotional situation, and there are too many things to think about, but I have to echo what others have said: Please try to get your fully-explained, rational side of the story to them. They haven't heard the truth of what happened on your side yet! Even if they take control of the conversation and it renders you speechless, it'd help to be able to put it in writing. If all they have seen so far is your boss' side of what happened, your non-response to the allegations, and if all they get next is that you want your stuff back, there's no chance for them to know that it wasn't even a "moral" mistake of something you did on purpose at the time - it was literally a tiny accident that never happened before and you didn't know you were doing at the time, and it ceased right there. It would just be awful if even there are a million other things going on behind the scenes of this situation, that they don't know the truth behind what really happened during the incident itself. You were able to write to us what really happened - now try to put it in a letter!

    I say this all without HR/legal experience, but I just hope it's all set right. And if they do end up terminating you, yes, remember to take your time to ask to collect the stuff at your desk, that unfortunately the only copy of some of those personal documents are on the computer so could you please have them, and above all else, read what you are signing, know where you stand at the end of it.

    I don't know about legality, but unless they twist this to sound like a one-time-only dealbreaker, they might put you on some kind of probation with an improvement plan. Not that you can really measure "getting along with everyone" improvement or "not making the same one-time mistake" improvement according to those plans.

    Above all, good luck, go in with a plan, stay composed, get everything that you need communicated communicated, and (((hugs))) from the reaches of the innurnet.

  14. #94

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    I agree with everyone who said "write it down". Write down exactly what happened and make sure you get that info said in the meeting tomorrow. Even if it's too late, you want your side of the story told.

    And it may not be too late. Others would know better, but would they keep a person on paid admin leave if it was just to fire someone? I dont really know (was only fired once, when I was 17, and didnt pay for the pretzels I was taking home from the snackshop I worked at). I dont want to get your hopes up, but at the same time, isnt it possible that they are working on some kind of probationary something or other?

    If it does turn out that you are terminated, tell them that you have your reviews stored on the computer, and would like to get them back (as well as your other stuff). Unfortunately, they might just tell you that anything on the computer is company property, and they might just wipe the thing clean.

    Regardless, good luck tomorrow. Keep strong. As others have said, maybe this is just the "opportunity" that you need to move on to something bigger and better.
    Erm.... I got nothin'

  15. #95
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    I want to add that if you do write a statement keep it concise, dry and factual. I know you are very upset right now and unfortunately your board postings seem a bit "she doth protest too much." So, please don't do a long, drawn out explanation. Personally I would do it in bullet points. Good luck.

  16. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by talulabell View Post
    Others would know better, but would they keep a person on paid admin leave if it was just to fire someone?
    They might do that just to cover their butts while they consult others regarding the case. Or it might just be that they feel it was needed because of her reaction... kinda like mental health day(s).

    My guess (and hope... not that I want you to get fired...) is they did it so they could put together a severance package. If she was just fired on the spot, she wouldn't get one, and perhaps they do remember 22 years of good work. And since she did mention that the company was reorganizing, perhaps they will label it a "layoff" instead of "termination." I know that neither one is preferable, but being laid off looks better to potential employers.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    I don't know why I didn't just tell the truth that it was just a mistake!!! Why did I do that?????
    You were very nervous. It was an automatic reaction most probably.

  18. #98

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    Ugh, it sucks that you have to wait yet another day! I am just going to assume they are firing you. It seems that if all they wanted to do was talk to you and tell you "no-no" then they would have done that today, no need to wait until lunch tomorrow. Just tell your side of the story, even if it is after being fired, and don't let them convince you to quit or walk away. Fight for yourself and for the 22 years you put into the company! One, or even two, mistakes should not end 22 years of hard work. Make sure to get your things, even if they have to escort you after hours.
    -Brian
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  19. #99
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    I don't really have much to say, except that I'm sorry that you're going through this. Things will get better.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycool View Post
    My guess (and hope... not that I want you to get fired...) is they did it so they could put together a severance package. If she was just fired on the spot, she wouldn't get one, and perhaps they do remember 22 years of good work. And since she did mention that the company was reorganizing, perhaps they will label it a "layoff" instead of "termination." I know that neither one is preferable, but being laid off looks better to potential employers.
    Another possibility is that cooler heads are prevailing, and telling HR or the boss or whoever that firing someone for one small infraction after 22 years of service and good performance reviews is going to put the company on very shaky ground legally. Even if it's framed as a "layoff".

    IMHO the company would be smart to count the "admin leave" days as a paid suspension, put a disciplinary note on the employee file, help BC and her boss figure out how this is never going to happen again, and move on. But if that's not what happens - *don't* sign anything in the meeting! Take it home and tell them you will get back to them with your decision, and consult with your lawyer (and then find one if you have to).
    Last edited by overedge; 05-17-2010 at 11:26 PM.

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